3/20 update of what’s happenin’

Essentially life is crazier than ever of course in my last semester of college, I read a quote that was supposed to encompass all things about people who are born on July 22nd (my birthday) and very fittingly it said “Everything happens at once”. I can’t remember a time in my life where it didn’t relate to a natural disaster or a peaceful pond. It’s always either one or the other for me it seems and currently I’m in the midst of my second natural disaster of this school year, how convenient! :’)

Regardless of all that nonsense here’s a quick update about some university related developments that have been building as I work on my capstone’s research paper and applied project.  I forgot my laptop charger in NH while at home for spring break in Massachusetts and this inspired a lot of reading considering I was unable to do work on the internet. (of course) However the time reading was well spent and I would like to share with this lil’ PLN a bit about what I found out while reading.  This doesn’t necessarily pertain much to my research project but it does fit just nicely within my personal learning network here.

Drugs. We’ve all heard of them, almost all of us have used them, and many many people battle them in different manners each and every day. If you read that and thought to yourself “oh i’ve never done drugs” I have some minor troubling news for you. If you haven’t so much smoked a joint in your life, I’m sure you’ve drunk but a drop of tea or coffee which contain one of the most addictive substances on earth, caffeine. So yes, you have used drugs but thats okay! No worries or judgements here. What I do hold some judgement about though, is how this country (USA) deals with the drug culture here.  Harry Anslinger if you aren’t familiar, was the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics back in the beginning of the 20th century. He’s essentially the guy who began the real war on drugs before George Bush could coin the phrase. Anslinger was a racist, bigot, xenophobe and every other one of the synonyms associated with those terms. Him and his bureau began imposing drug laws to hurt minorities around the country, starting with Chinese immigrants who smoked opium while working on the railroads. When the Great Depression hit, white American’s needed jobs and they saw to take them away from those apparently less deserving of a livelihood, the Chinese! Anslinger produced horrible headlines saying how Chinese opium causes crazy sexual fixations in white women forcing them to engage in sexual acts with Chinese immigrants. This same trend then was followed by the prohibition of marijuana to marginalize the Mexican migrant workers and even cocaine, targeting black doctors in Alabama who were prescribing it (legally may I add) to anyone who had any number of aliments including a common cough. Morphine, the derivative of heroin, was so readily available you could literally order it via catalog and it would be delivered to your home in a brown paper bag. Your neighbors, (who probably did the exact same thing) never had to find out you functioned throughout your life due to the help of God’s Own Medicine, morphine.  But that was exactly it, functioning normally was important for the progression of American society. Harry Anslinger thought that because drugs altered your mental state that they would inhibit people from leading normal and productive lives, where for many people that was the complete opposite. After Anslinger imposed all these nationwide laws, the drug scene went downhill big time. Crime shot up exponentially! These people who have been taking small doses of their drug of choice for years now had to seek different means to obtain them. Men usually resorted to petty theft or small crimes, and women to prostitution to pay for their drug habits. So yeah, the minorities were hardly the problem as every white person in America probably had a bottle of morphine stashed somewhere in their medicine cabinet.

Why were doctors punished in the thousands for prescribing drugs they had just previously considered legal in the early 1900’s? Today the drug problem still persists in innumerable amounts however instead of doctors trying to help their patients by supplying small doses of morphine so they could get through the day, are now prescribing something much more heinous. Opiates, much like morphine are ridiculously addicting and seem to be prescribed seamlessly to anyone who has a slightly significant pain management problem. Adderall, given out like candy to kids who have attention deficit problems or trouble staying on task, every college kid if asked honestly could probably tell you where to find some “addy”. Drugs are still just as prevalent as they always were, the mandating of some drugs but not others just creates more problems as now adderall is snorted at parties and people crush up xanax into their mixed drinks.

Portugal after making all drugs legal in their country saw a dramatic decrease in addiction deaths and overdoses. Their country has hardly any issues with drugs now, and the drug use between people aged 15-24 has declined dramatically where as here in the States, I could honestly not name one person my age who doesn’t engage in drug use whether it be alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine, or marijuana. Many people I know have to take a cocktail of drugs just to appear normal to society each day, and I find this ridiculously unhealthy and sad. Party drugs are becoming every day drugs and when those drugs don’t quite do it for people anymore, they move on to the super illegal hard stuff and it just continues to snowball from then on. Imagine what would happen in the United States if all drugs were legal?? We could tax the hell out of them and focus our efforts and money on mandating the distribution of drugs coming from other places. BUT, I am in no position to say a society like America should follow in the footsteps of a society like Portugal considering they are two vastly opposing cultures and countries, however it is interesting to think about huh?

Okay, thats my little blurb for today. Thanks for reading!!!!

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